The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reporting a record high number of gun interceptions at U.S. airports. In the first half of 2020 alone, they have already intercepted more firearms than in any other year since the agency’s inception in 2001. This startling statistic highlights an alarming trend and brings to light a pressing issue lingering in travelers’ minds.
With the increased rise of firearms interception, it’s both interesting and concerning. It could indicate that people are becoming more aware about their personal safety which could lead to more being intercepted. This could reflect potentially how Americans feel about their safety outside of airports. Though firearms interceptions can draw a lot of attention from security at the airport, it is good to also note how vigilant Americans have become in terms of their safety protocols.
Almost 10% more firearms were intercepted this year than in 2021, according to TSA officers, according to the Daily Wire.
Since the beginning of 2022, the agency has detained 6,301 firearms and expects to detain approximately 300 more by the end of the year. More than 88% of those firearms were loaded, according to the agency.
NBC reported exactly how often and what this could mean.
No firearms may be carried in carry-on bags at any TSA security checkpoint, regardless of whether a passenger has a concealed weapon permit. Passengers may travel with firearms, but they must be unloaded and locked in a hard-sided container, transported as checked baggage only, and declared each time they present them for transport.
To reduce the threat of firearms at checkpoints, TSA increased the maximum civil penalty for a firearms violation to $14,950.
According to data from Northeastern University and Harvard Injury Control Research Center, about a fifth of all Americans bought firearms for the first time last year. While 39 percent of American households own guns.
In 2016, the General Social Survey, a public opinion poll conducted by a research center at the University of Chicago, found that 32 percent of Americans owned a firearm.
Those numbers are drastic and could spell the exact reason many Americans have decided to put their own safety in their hands.
A TSA spokesman told the Times, “the most common reason given by passengers is that they forgot that they had a firearm in their bags.”
The spokesman added that open carry and concealed weapons permits are typically more common in southern states.
Even though some airlines may have additional requirements for traveling with firearms and ammunition, passengers who wish to transport firearms by air must do so in checked baggage. They must do so by following the proper packing guidelines
It’s great to see so many of us taking proactive steps to protect ourselves and our loved ones by arming ourselves. That being said, there is also a lot of personal responsibility that comes with owning and carrying a firearm. When we’re traveling and want to carry with us, it’s important that we are knowledgeable about the laws at an airport or any other public space in order to stay in compliance and avoid any issues. As responsible gun owners, the safety of others should be the first priority when arms are involved. So while protecting ourselves through our second amendment right is essential, we must also exercise caution when doing it. The government will take ever measure to tax people more to curb the behavior so let’s not give them more reasons to penalize us more for owning guns.
Let’s continue this conversation, in the comments below.